Turtle Soup

Total Time:
2 hr 20 min
Prep:
30 min
Cook:
1 hr 50 min

Yield:
5 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 2 1/2 pounds turtle meat, cut into medium dice*
  • Salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 medium onions, cut into medium dice
  • 6 stalks celery, cut into medium dice
  • 30 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 bell peppers, cut into medium dice
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme, ground
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, ground
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 quarts veal stock
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 26 ounces dry sherry (750-ml bottle)
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 large lemons, juiced
  • 3 cups peeled, chopped, and seeded tomatoes
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach, stems removed, washed 3 times, and roughly chopped
  • 6 medium hard-boiled eggs, chopped into large pieces
Directions

*Cook's Note: We use alligator snapping turtles, which are a farm-raised fresh water species available all year long. Turtle meat usually comes in 2 1/2-pound portions.

In a large soup pot over medium to high heat, melt 1/2 stick butter. Add turtle meat and brown. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Cook for about 18 to 20 minutes or until liquid is almost dry. Add onions, celery, garlic, and peppers, constantly stirring. Add thyme, oregano, and bay leaves and saute for about 22 minutes**. Add stock, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes. Skim any fat that comes to the top.

While stock is simmering, make the roux. In a small saucepan, melt remaining butter over medium heat. Slowly add flour, a little at a time, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon. Be careful not to burn. After all of the flour has been added, cook until roux smells nutty, is pale in color, and has a consistency of wet sand, about 3 minutes. Set aside to let cool until soup is ready (roux should be cool when adding to hot soup).

Using a whisk, stir the roux into the stock vigorously, adding a little at a time to prevent lumping. Simmer for about 25 minutes. Stir to prevent sticking on bottom. Add sherry and bring to a boil. Add hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer and skim any fat or foam that comes to top. Add lemon juice and tomatoes and return to a simmer. Add spinach and eggs, return to a simmer and adjust seasoning.

**Cook's Note: Caramelizing vegetables and meats very will to get the dark color you are looking for.

***Cook's Note: This is like a stew, eaten as a main dish. This soup freezes well.

Professional Recipe: This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.


CATEGORIES:
View All

Cooking Tips
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Loading review filters...
BROWSE REVIEWS BY KEYWORD

    7 Reviews
    4 7
    0/1000 characters
    Your Rating:
    (Required)
    Sort by: 
    This soup reminds me of a traditional Choctaw recipe my grandmother makes. Delicious.
    I had one bowl of this soup and dumped the rest down the toilet. It was very sweet and had a horrible flavor. I spent a lot of money for all the ingredients and tried to like it, but just couldn't. I was thinking about freezing it and giving it away, but I would have been very embarrassed by it.
    If you are a southerner or you just dig southern cousine this is for you. If you are a fisherman or have a friend who is a fisherman (game license approved of course) who catches an alligator snapper you must prepare this. It is a southern delicacy of the highest degree. Love it!!!! Extreme comfort food warning!!!!!!
    a must try!
    So we don't already cause enough suffering in the world, we have to find another animal to taste???! I'm neither vegitarian nor vegan. I enjoy eating the usual farm raised animals...but turtles, we eat turtles???!!!! That strikes me as strange, ill, and unnecessary. So, turtles, huh???
    Easy to make - made for 12 Adults & 6 kids - just 2 kids would not try it all others thought it was great. Get over the name
    I have visited Commander's Palace a number of times, and rave about the Turtle Soup. I was so excited to see the recipe on the program, I ran to your website to get the recipe.
     

     
    The best soup I have ever eaten!!!
    Flag as inappropriate

    Thank you! your flag was submitted.

    Not what you're looking for? Try:

    Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

    Recipe courtesy of Ron Ben-Israel